Authorities in Palm Beach County, Florida, want the federal government or President Donald Trump to cover costs for the latter’s security during his visits to the Mar-a-Lago estate, CNN reported Friday. If neither of the two sides agree to help with the cost, the county is likely to increase taxes, the report added.
The Secret Service is responsible for protecting the president, but the local sheriff’s office is reportedly asked to help in several public and private ways. Citing estimates provided by the Palm Beach County sheriff’s department, CNN reported about $60,000 is spent on overtime every day when Trump visits his private club.
Since Trump assumed office Jan. 20, he has made four visits to Mar-a-Lago already, and counting the fifth trip over the ongoing St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the total expenses borne by the county are already about $1 million. The costs associated with the 70-year-old’s visits are currently not budgeted for the county, , CNN reported.
"It means the local taxpayers will have to bear the added burden of being part of the security for the president of the United States," Paulette Burdick, the Democratic mayor of Palm Beach County, told CNN. "It will either be cuts or increase in taxes."
According to Palm Beach County Commissioner Dave Kerner, the proposed 2018 budget for the county had a $40 million deficit. This meant that in a bid to cover costs related to Trump, officials at the county will likely have to cut corners on certain programs.
"I know that my taxpayers shouldn't have to bear the burden," Kerner, who is also a Democrat, told CNN.
He is reportedly proposing a plan to tackle the issue — make Mar-a-Lago pay for the county’s services through a yearly tax bill.
"Frankly, as long as it is not on my constituents, I don't care who pays it," Kerner reportedly said.
Trump has hosted world leaders, including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, at the lavish Mar-a-Lago estate. He will also reportedly host Chinese President Xi Jinping at the club during the latter’s visit to the U.S. in April.
Each visit to Florida by the president reportedly costs an estimated $3 million.